GATINEAU, QUE. — Criminal charges were laid before the Court of Québec against Richard Dionne and Richard Labelle, who were accused of conspiring in 2021 to rig bids on public road and culvert work on Highway 50 in Outaouais in the region of Gatineau.
The charges were laid under the bid-rigging provisions of the Competition Act and the conspiracy provisions of the Criminal Code. According to a release, at the time of the alleged conspiracy, Dionne was general manager of sales for Québec and Ontario for the Coco Asphalt division of Coco Paving Inc., and Labelle was the sales manager for Québec for Coco Asphalt.
Evidence gathered in the course of a Competition Bureau investigation claims the individuals conspired to undermine the competitive process by agreeing to rig bids submitted in response to a call for tenders from the ministère des Transports du Québec, the release states.
“Criminal conspiracies harm competition and can cause major damage to our economy. When individuals conspire to rig bids for public contracts, it is taxpayers who pay the price,” said Matthew Boswell, commissioner of competition, in a statement. “We will continue to vigorously pursue all those who engage in anti-competitive activities.”